Bill would reduce barriers for foreign-trained medical professionals in Massachusetts

More than 20 percent of the state's foreign-trained medical professionals are unable to practice in Massachusetts.

BOSTON (WWLP) – One in six Massachusetts residents is an immigrant.

Immigrant advocates and medical professionals are calling on the state to pass legislation that would reduce barriers, such as licensing challenges, for foreign-trained medical practitioners.

More than 20 percent of the state’s foreign-trained medical professionals are unable to practice in Massachusetts, according to the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy group.

“Even if they pass the exams, we call it United States Medical License Exam, but still there is barrier, they cannot get residency here in Massachusetts,” Laith Almarwari said.

Senator Jason Lewis and Representative Jack Lewis filed bills that aim to increase access to healthcare in under-served areas by utilizing foreign-trained medical professionals.

The proposal calls for the creation of a commission to develop recommendations for changing licensing requirements and strategies for integrating these practitioners into areas that need medical services.

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